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Barnsley MBC completes £4m energy upgrade

The work forms part of wider plans for the local authority to hit net zero by 2040.

Efforts to update and reduce the impact of powering public buildings in Barnsley have taken three years, with the council partnering with renewables specialist Ameresco on the project. 

Having declared a climate emergency in 2019, the first phase of the mammoth undertaking began one year later, when coal-fired boilers were replaced with combined heat and power (CHP) and gas-fired systems. 

Starting in 2021, the second phase has now seen air source heat pumps installed in six sites owned and operated by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council. Solar voltaic (PV) systems and other energy saving measures have also been introduced at the locations. 

It is hoped more than 2million kilowatt-hours of electricity will be saved, equating to 529 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. Not only will this guarantee reductions in carbon output for the authority, over time it could also yield financial savings through reduced energy bills. 

Cllr Robert Frost, Cabinet Spokesperson for Core Services at Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, says: ‘As part of the decarbonisation of our public assets, which is 2% of the borough’s, we’ve got £4.3m of government funding. We partnered with Ameresco to implement infrastructure upgrades at multiple sites with a range of solutions that have cut down on the council’s energy usage.’ 

Britta MacIntosh is Executive Vice President of Ameresco’s Western Region and Europe Operations, adds: ‘To truly enhance energy resiliency and combat the climate crisis, it is crucial that we prioritise the implementation of diverse, comprehensive solution sets that combine renewable energy and energy efficiency updates. 

‘Our work with the Barnsley Council is a prime example of how local authorities should approach infrastructure redevelopment,’ he continued. ‘The completion of this project will benefit the council with energy and cost savings for years to come, making a lasting impact on the local community.’ 

More on energy: 

Emissions monitoring tech needed for ‘North Sea roadmap’

Low carbon heating, cooling, ventilation training centre reopens in Birmingham

Residents reap economic rewards from localised renewable projects

Image: Barnsley Public Hall by Tony 

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